What was Muhammad saying and doing? Perhaps his magical shirt would transport the dead woman to heaven, and his blessed body would protect her from the “pressures of the grave”? A more cynical—a more human—reading is that he stripped his shirt as a natural step before copulating; that he precisely meant the act of sex would “alleviate” the pressures of death from the corpse; and that the observers covered them with dirt for privacy and/or for shame.
This interpretation is given much more weight when one considers that the secondary meaning for the word I translated above as “lay” is “intercourse”—further demonstrating that the proposed Egyptian law is, in fact, based on this hadith: after all, the Arabic word used for “intercourse” in the phrase “farewell intercourse” is the same word that Muhammad used to “lay” with the dead woman. As if all this was not enough, one finds even more validation in Islam’s legal texts. For example, according to al-Sharwani’s Hawashi, “there is no punishment for having intercourse with a dead woman” and “it is not necessary to rewash the dead after penetration.”
Incidentally, this issue of “death-sex” far precedes Egyptian parliamentarians. In fact, I first wrote about this macabre topic back in 2009, based on an episode of Father Zakaria Botros, where he explored the perverse sexual habits of the prophet Muhammad (see here for summaries). Interestingly, when that episode first aired, many Muslims were livid, denying the existence of the hadith, and renewing calls to assassinate the priest for trying to “defame” Islam: yet here it is, once again—only this time, the hadith is being passed into a “law,” further validating the existence and legitimacy of necrophilia in Islam.
Which leads to a final eye-opener: it is no longer this or that “radical” cleric, but parliament members who are, not merely acknowledging bizarre Islamic practices, but trying to implement them as “laws.” (Perhaps this should be unsurprising, considering weeks earlier in Egypt, suit-and-tie wearing Muslim court lawyers attacked with knives a Christian defendant for supposedly “blaspheming” Muhammad.)
What else do such “parliamentarians” and “lawyers” have in store for Egypt and its neighbors? If this little know, disgusting practice is being endorsed simply because of one arcane hadith, how much support must be given to those other ideas of Islam—for instance, Islam’s position on non-Muslims, whom Muhammad unequivocally condemned, ordered Muslims to fight and/or deceive in perpetuity, and to keep in a state of subjugation?
When it comes to Islam, it is high time for the West to learn to connect the dots.
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